BlueJaysIn2030

Toronto Blue Jays 2017 Outlook

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I'm kind of looking at the stats for Steve Pierce and Justin Smoak.  I am coming to the conclusion that maybe Justin Smoak should be the every day 1B - forget the Lefty/Righty platoon.

 

His career OPS against Righties, although unimpressive is still higher than Smoak's.  

 

His OPS against RHP last year was nearly .800.  Maybe he found something.  With the inconsistency, but the awesome hitting on the Rays, I get the impression that someone tried to tinker with his swing or there were injury issues.

 

Certainly wouldn't be the first time a guy with lots of upside hit a new level in Toronto.

 

Love his patience and OBP.

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Pearce... meh.

Career .335OBP, .254AVG... Never played a full season... minus defender... Not a fan. He's not durable, is old... Not what the Jays needed. 

 

Smoak... also meh.

Career .308OBP with a .223AVg... minus defender.

 

I'd be more interested if Tellez makes the team/comes up early and mashes. 

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On 2016-12-24 at 1:27 AM, TheBoatmen said:

Well how many god's do you know that are former Cy Young winners that can throw a knuckle ball?  A god beats a Thor everytime.  Seriously though AA went for it and he had the guts to do it.  At least we knew the direction the team was going.  

If you want to go for it, trade for a stud. Not a late 30's, knuckle baller who had one good year. Absolutely **** trade.

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Tulo, Bats, Travis etc. all need to stay healthy. Pitching staff looks solid. Not sure I'm sold on Upton-Pillar-Bautista as the outfield but what can ya do?

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1 hour ago, BlueJaysIn2030 said:

Pearce... meh.

Career .335OBP, .254AVG... Never played a full season... minus defender... Not a fan. He's not durable, is old... Not what the Jays needed. 

 

Smoak... also meh.

Career .308OBP with a .223AVg... minus defender.

 

I'd be more interested if Tellez makes the team/comes up early and mashes. 

 

Disagree, Pearce has had a really good BB% the past 4 years, with 2015 being an outlier, probably due to injury.

 

Smoak sucks, but he's a plus defender.

 

 

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1 minute ago, KingJoffrey said:

 

Disagree, Pearce has had a really good BB% the past 4 years, with 2015 being an outlier, probably due to injury.

 

Smoak sucks, but he's a plus defender.

 

 

Pearce has been hurt pretty much every year

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They can't be rebuilding too soon if they sign Bautista to a 1 year deal.

 

But yeah, one can't help but think that management didn't have a solid game plan going into the off season.  The entire lineup really consists of question marks at either offense or defense or health.  The only reliable guy is JD.

 

Hard to think how much better the team could have been had they signed Dexter Fowler and EE.  Then maybe still find a way to give Joey bats that 1 year deal.  The lineup could have been Fowler-JD-EE-JB-Tulo.

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5 minutes ago, KingJoffrey said:

They can't be rebuilding too soon if they sign Bautista to a 1 year deal.

 

But yeah, one can't help but think that management didn't have a solid game plan going into the off season.  The entire lineup really consists of question marks at either offense or defense or health.  The only reliable guy is JD.

 

Hard to think how much better the team could have been had they signed Dexter Fowler and EE.  Then maybe still find a way to give Joey bats that 1 year deal.  The lineup could have been Fowler-JD-EE-JB-Tulo.

+ travis, martin... would have been 2015 again sorta.

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4 hours ago, KingJoffrey said:

They can't be rebuilding too soon if they sign Bautista to a 1 year deal.

 

But yeah, one can't help but think that management didn't have a solid game plan going into the off season.  The entire lineup really consists of question marks at either offense or defense or health.  The only reliable guy is JD.

 

Hard to think how much better the team could have been had they signed Dexter Fowler and EE.  Then maybe still find a way to give Joey bats that 1 year deal.  The lineup could have been Fowler-JD-EE-JB-Tulo.

Bautista is a nice trade chip at the deadline.  A chance for other teams to get him without the draft pick attached.

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28 minutes ago, KingJoffrey said:

Not very optimistic on the Jays are you?

More disappointed in their offseason moves.  I am a fan....just frustrated that they made small market moves when they were close to the World Series and they had the money.

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18 minutes ago, KingJoffrey said:

Not very optimistic on the Jays are you?

Why should anyone be? This team is bound for a lot of regression. I love the Jays and have been a fan all my life, but damn... they are going to have a tough time in the AL East this year.

Some great pitching with a few warts:
SIERA/FIP/XFIP in 2016
Estrada: 4.35, 4.15, 4.64
Happ: 4.28, 3.96, 4.18

I'm confident that Sanchez goes 190-200IP again with great ratios. I love the kid and think he's excellent at pitching - not throwing. Stroman could wind up as a real nice sleeper this year, especially with the glimpses of success we say in 2016... I just hope he can quit the social media game and focus on baseball.

A bullpen that goes from "Wow!" to "... wow..." real quick:
Osuna - we know who he is
Biagini - could wind up a starter, but he was great in 2016
Grilli - how many 40 year olds do you know who can pitch 70 innings at a really good level? I'm waiting.
Smith - 88mph fastball. Wonderful.
Howell - 85mph fastball. Even better. Goes from the NL to the AL and will get smacked around, I'm sure of it.
Loup - Has gotten worse every single year.

The hitters are going to be medicore compared to the other contenders in the the AL
If we go off of Rotochamps starting lineup, here's what we have:

1) Travis - we know who he is when he plays. The question is: "Will he play?" A lock for something like 15/10 with a great average.
2) Tulowitzki - .250 with 20HR. Nothing more, nothing less. Great defence, and no... Tulo is not turning back into the guy who would hit 30HR and for a high average.
3) Donaldson - You know who he is and what he's going to do. I get worried about the wear and tear, and I think the calf strain is a sign of things to come.
4) Bautista - How many games is he going to play? Where does he play? When does he rest? Are pitchers still going to be afraid of him?
5) Molasses - Slow. As. F. Where does he play? When does he rest? Can he play all year? No question on power, but many on the rest of his game.
6) Martin - Is he still catching 130 games this year?
7) Smoak - lol
8) Pillar - Great defence, terrible bat. 
9) Upton/Carrera/Pearce - What do we even do with this?

The AL East is going to be crazy. The Yankees are young and will be much better than last year. If the Rays get good pitching they're going to push for a lot of Ws. The Red Sox are the true favorites, and the Orioles are basically the same as last year - lots of boppers, lots of bad pitching.

 

But regardless of all of the above, the true question is: Where did the Toronto Blue Jays improve? The answer is no where. No where on this team did they get better. The 1B situation is worse, the OF situation is very questionable, the backup catch spot is questionable. Where did they get better?

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The Jays had by far the best starting pitching in the AL last year.  It was almost 1/2 a run better than the second place team.  That is a tremendous advantage.

 

Even though you can point to Estrada and Happ and look at their poor FIP, both pitchers have done FIP defying acrobatics for years now.  Estrada's playoff performance shows he is a capable pitcher.  Even if you do expect regression, Stroman and Sanchez can improve.  Liriano, well he's a bit of a wild card.  But if you buy the story that Liriano connects with Martin and he's a different pitcher with Martin as catcher, then you can see good things from him.  For a number 5 starter, you are really looking at a lot of upside.

 

Joe Smith, may not be a fireballer, but he has put up a lot of respectable seasons and Howell is a LOOGY.  They fit in just fine.

 

The lineup?  Sure I'd rather they have re-signed EE and added Dexter Fowler.  But overall, they can get improvement provided Bautista stays healthy  I wouldn't go so far as to label him injury prone yet.  

 

I don't project the pitching to decline that much and the offense should be fine.  They probably won't win the division but they could win a wild card.

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11 hours ago, KingJoffrey said:

The Jays had by far the best starting pitching in the AL last year.  It was almost 1/2 a run better than the second place team.  That is a tremendous advantage.

Even though you can point to Estrada and Happ and look at their poor FIP, both pitchers have done FIP defying acrobatics for years now.  Estrada's playoff performance shows he is a capable pitcher.  Even if you do expect regression, Stroman and Sanchez can improve.  Liriano, well he's a bit of a wild card.  But if you buy the story that Liriano connects with Martin and he's a different pitcher with Martin as catcher, then you can see good things from him.  For a number 5 starter, you are really looking at a lot of upside.

Joe Smith, may not be a fireballer, but he has put up a lot of respectable seasons and Howell is a LOOGY.  They fit in just fine.

The lineup?  Sure I'd rather they have re-signed EE and added Dexter Fowler.  But overall, they can get improvement provided Bautista stays healthy  I wouldn't go so far as to label him injury prone yet.  

I don't project the pitching to decline that much and the offense should be fine.  They probably won't win the division but they could win a wild card.

I always have a soft spot for the Jays even though they compete in my team's division.  What can I say.  I just love Toronto.  But the starting rotation pitched over their heads collectively last season so I don't see the "tremendous advantage" over another specific team in this division.  (Chris Sale would like to say hi).

I don't get why the Jays didn't pick up someone like Trumbo or at least Carter to play 1B.  Trumbo long term, Carter as a one year place holder until Rowdy Tellez gets called up.  Also, like you said, someone like Fowler for the iffy outfield.

If they don't make it this year then do they go into full rebuild mode next as in bye-bye Donaldson?  This guy has quickly become the face of the franchise but will Toronto have to pull the plug on him?

Edited by The Big Bat Theory

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Hi Chris,

 

I'd like to remind you that your 2016 ERA of 3.34 is roughly the same as that of the Jays' Sanchez-Happ-Estrada.  I'd like to remind you that Fenway isn't exactly a pitcher's paradise so you can't expect dramatic improvement just by coming out of Cell field.  I'd like to mention that your herky-jerky style of pitching is still a cause for concern in terms of injury risk.  I'd like to reassure that "pitch to contact" isn't exactly the best way to go.    I'd also like to say that although you represent a nice improvement over Clay Bucholz, there is ample reason to believe Porcello and Wright won't be duplicating their 2016 numbers and that Snachez and Stroman (especially Stroman) can improve.  

 

Later.

 

KJ

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15 minutes ago, KingJoffrey said:

Hi Chris,

 

I'd like to remind you that your 2016 ERA of 3.34 is roughly the same as that of the Jays' Sanchez-Happ-Estrada.  I'd like to remind you that Fenway isn't exactly a pitcher's paradise so you can't expect dramatic improvement just by coming out of Cell field.  I'd like to mention that your herky-jerky style of pitching is still a cause for concern in terms of injury risk.  I'd like to reassure that "pitch to contact" isn't exactly the best way to go.    I'd also like to say that although you represent a nice improvement over Clay Bucholz, there is ample reason to believe Porcello and Wright won't be duplicating their 2016 numbers and that Snachez and Stroman (especially Stroman) can improve.  

 

Later.

 

KJ

Chris Sale ERA @:
Fenway Park: 22IP, 3.63ERA, 1.12WHIP
Skydome (Rogers Centre): 25IP, 1.80ERA, 0.92WHIP
Camden Yards: 25IP, 2.49ERA, 1.46WHIP
Yankee Stadium: 30IP, 1.80ERA, 0.90WHIP
Tropicana Field: 31IP, 1.44ERA, 0.67WHIP

Whether or not Porcello and Wright repeat makes no difference in what Chris Sale does.

His career ERA of 3.00 with a FIP or 3.06 and xFIP of 3.04, SIERA sitting at 3.43 are all better than the Jays staff. His K-rate went up in the 2nd half. His walks dropped as well.

And he's pitched 190+ innings 4/5 years. 2016: Career low in BB/9, career high in HR/9, BABIP was crazy low, GB% dropped... Lots of upside here.

 

Oh... and the defence behind him? Just went from being 16th by Fangraphs metrics (-7.0) to 6th (29.2)... Put another way, pitching to contact might work in Boston.

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Understood.  This isn't or shouldn't be, the Chris Sale thread. (What he did in various ballparks in small sample sizes is kind of irrelevant though).

 

 But the point being there's a lot that could go wrong for the Red Sox SP and a lot that can go right for the Jays SP.  And true, Vice-Versa. But that's working from a gap of about .60 in ERA between the two teams' SP. in 2016.

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11 minutes ago, KingJoffrey said:

Understood.  This isn't or shouldn't be, the Chris Sale thread. (What he did in various ballparks in small sample sizes is kind of irrelevant though).

So why did you bring up that Fenway is a hitter park? I don't understand the logic here. So you're questioning his ability pitching @fenway, but will ignore the stats he's posted there and at other AL East stadiums?

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3 minutes ago, CanadianSportsJunkie said:

We should be in the wildcard fight. Need a lot to go right though sadly 

Yup, you and @TheBoatmen get it. This team is a bubble team, and if they are out of it in June... well they better sell off.

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55 minutes ago, BlueJaysIn2030 said:

So why did you bring up that Fenway is a hitter park? I don't understand the logic here. So you're questioning his ability pitching @fenway, but will ignore the stats he's posted there and at other AL East stadiums?

 

I brought it up because he's not going to benefit from Fenway.  CF is a terrible park for LHP  but so is Fenway.  What he did in a very limited number of starts in other stadiums is irrelevant.

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28 minutes ago, BlueJaysIn2030 said:

Yup, you and @TheBoatmen get it. This team is a bubble team, and if they are out of it in June... well they better sell off.

 

Why do they need to sell off?  Such Hyperbole.  Has any team ever decided to sell off, one year after leading their league in ERA? 

 

The Jays were cheap and they made mistakes in the offseason but they were still buyers.  But they made the playoffs 2 years in a row.  Sell?

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The idea of selling off comes from the current core, more specifically the offensive core, getting up there in age. Do you really want to pay Josh Donaldson a mega contract at 32 when a big part of your offensive core (Tulo, Martin, Bautista, Morales) are all entering or have entered their decline phase? Add in Pillar who has a few years left of elite defence (history shows that as CFers get closer to 30, their range and ability to play center drops considerably) and Travis has had injury problems, and it doesn't look like a promising future for the Jays. The farm system is still being rebuilt after the many trades that brought the team success. If you continue trying to patch holes and keep going, your team starts to look like the Phillies of the last few years. Good news is they have two very good young SPs in Stroman and Sanchez (injury risks are there tho) that you hope management can build around and the team has to hope Rowdy Tellez and Vlad Jr. are the real deal.

When looking at this year, I think the Wild Card spot is a realistic outcome for them. Starting pitching should be above average with continued wizardry from Estrada and Happ and growth from Stroman and Sanchez. Liriano is a wildcard but he is an above average 5th starter imo. Depth isn't great in the rotation behind those guys so the Jays need them to stay healthy. Bullpen will likely be meh. Osuna is good but there isn't another elite arm there. I think management failed in their goal to get faster and better defensively but they should still hit well. Morales should knock in a bunch of guys and Pearce was an underrated signing imo as he looks to have become a better hitter late in his career and he came at minimal cost. Depth isn't too bad in the lineup and they have a bunch of quality defenders up the middle. Fowler would have been a nice add for LF but alas. Jays should still be competitive but likely aren't real World Series Contenders. The fanbase wants a title so badly and is willing to sacrifice the future for it, management is taking a more conservative approach.

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1 hour ago, KingJoffrey said:

 

I brought it up because he's not going to benefit from Fenway.  CF is a terrible park for LHP  but so is Fenway.  What he did in a very limited number of starts in other stadiums is irrelevant.

No no... It's totally relevant. He's going to benefit from the defence that Boston has.

1 hour ago, KingJoffrey said:

 

Why do they need to sell off?  Such Hyperbole.  Has any team ever decided to sell off, one year after leading their league in ERA? 

 

The Jays were cheap and they made mistakes in the offseason but they were still buyers.  But they made the playoffs 2 years in a row.  Sell?

I said they need to sell off if they are out of it in June. Out of it. Not on the bubble, not in it, not on the cusp... Out of it. IE: 10 games back from the WC. 

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